Laurel & Hardy

Like many other blogs, a mixture of book reviews, links I found interesting, comments on the day's news.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. This meme on Steve Lawson's See Also blog tempted me - the 106 books most often marked unread in LibraryThing. The rules: bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  • Anna Karenina

  • Crime and Punishment

  • Catch-22

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • Wuthering Heights

  • The Silmarillion

  • Life of Pi : a novel

  • The Name of the Rose

  • Don Quixote

  • Moby Dick

  • Ulysses

  • Madame Bovary

  • The Odyssey

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Jane Eyre

  • A Tale of Two Cities

  • The Brothers Karamazov

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel

  • War and Peace

  • Vanity Fair

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife

  • The Iliad

  • Emma

  • The Blind Assassin

  • The Kite Runner

  • Mrs. Dalloway

  • Great Expectations

  • American Gods

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

  • Atlas Shrugged

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books

  • Memoirs of a Geisha

  • Middlesex

  • Quicksilver

  • Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

  • The Canterbury Tales

  • The Historian : a novel

  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • Love in the Time of Cholera

  • Brave New World

  • The Fountainhead

  • Foucault’s Pendulum

  • Middlemarch

  • Frankenstein

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

  • Dracula

  • A Clockwork Orange

  • Anansi Boys

  • The Once and Future King

  • The Grapes of Wrath

  • The Poisonwood Bible : a novel

  • 1984

  • Angels & Demons

  • The Inferno(and Purgatory and Paradise)

  • The Satanic Verses

  • Sense and Sensibility

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • Mansfield Park

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

  • To the Lighthouse

  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles

  • Oliver Twist

  • Gulliver’s Travels

  • Les Misérables

  • The Corrections

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • Dune

  • The Prince

  • The Sound and the Fury

  • Angela’s Ashes : a memoir

  • The God of Small Things

  • A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present

  • Cryptonomicon

  • Neverwhere

  • A Confederacy of Dunces

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • Dubliners

  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • Beloved

  • Slaughterhouse-five

  • The Scarlet Letter

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves

  • The Mists of Avalon

  • Oryx and Crake : a novel

  • Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed

  • Cloud Atlas (best novel of the 21st century)

  • The Confusion

  • Lolita

  • Persuasion (my favorite Austen)

  • Northanger Abbey

  • The Catcher in the Rye

  • On the Road

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • Freakonomics

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values

  • The Aeneid

  • Watership Down

  • Gravity’s Rainbow

  • The Hobbit

  • In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

  • White Teeth

  • Treasure Island

  • David Copperfield

  • The Three Musketeers

Friday, March 02, 2007

Favorite Podcasts III: Science news

There are a number of good websites for keeping up with science news. This doesn't include science magazines & journals, which I'll list in a separate entry.

Current Science & Technology Podcast a weekly podcast produced by the Museum of Science, Boston

Diffusion, a weekly Australian radio program with a mix of science news, pop science, historical science and very silly science

NYT Science Times, a weekly podcast of science news from the New York Times

NOAA podcasts, irregular podcasts of news and science from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most of the podcasts are weather-related

Science at NASA, short stories on NASA research

The Science Show, a weekly Australian radio program on science. Usually covers 4-5 recent science stories

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Favorite Podcasts II: Podcasts that make me laugh

First in this category has to be the Ricky Gervais Show, with Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant and the Karl Pilkington. Karl Pilkington is astonishing and bizarre and a real hoot. In one podcast, he describes how he had to moon his neighbor because he had accidently seen her naked and to balance things. His comment (in response to a question on whether he could eat an animal penis as contestants had to don a reality show) that he couldn't for breakfast but that he "could eat a knob at night" was one of the funniest things I have ever heard. The older podcasts can be purchased form iTunes or, but The Guardian newspaper has 3 free podcasts up right now: The Podfather, with shows for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (the Christmas one was posted today).

Second is the monthly Ouch podcast, with actor Mat Fraser and comedian Liz Carr. It's hard to describe this one, except as definitely not politically correct humor. Ouch is a disability website, and this podcast is a talk show with things like the game "Vegetable, Vegetable, or Vegetable", where Mat & Liz try to guess the disability of a caller.

Finally, This is Screaming Halibut, a weekly 10-minute sketch comedy podcast. Morag, an evil genius with the intellect of a hundred Einsteins and the cunning of a thousand Machiavellis, has to contend with people who think he has a girl's name.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Technocrati claim.

Technorati Profile

Carl Sagan Blog-A-Thon

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death. To recognize the occasion, there is a blogathon in the works. I learned about the blogathon from the Bad Astronomy blog. What a neat idea!

I'm not as eloquent as some of the blogs I've read, but I can talk about my favorite Sagan book: Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science. For me, this book really showed his ability to communicate the fascination of science and the real world. As someone who loves reading about science (I majored in science as an undergraduate and ended up a science librarian), I've read a lot of popular science books, and this is one of my favorite books in this genre (I'm also a big fan of Stephen Jay Gould in this genre).


Friday, December 15, 2006

My Favorite Podcasts Part I: Brain stretchers

I love listening to podcasts when I'm walking or driving or working on the computer. These are the lecture or documentary podcasts I enjoy listening to that stretch my brain.

In Our Time - probably my favorite podcast in this or any category. In Our Time is a weekly BBC Radio 4 documentary where host Melvin Bragg talks with scholars about a wide variety of subjects - from altruism to the history of vaccination to Chaucer, the speakers are always engaging and I have learned something listening to every episode.

Lingua Franca - a weekly podcast on language produced by the Australian Broadcasting Company Radio National. Topics have included why grammar is still important and how to interpret museum texts.

Ockham's Razor - another ABC Radio National podcast; this one is a weekly documentary where scientists and others (writers, scholars, researchers) can talk about various topics. I'm a little behind on this one - I just listened to the November 19th podcast on this history of hypochondria and the benefits of chocolate.

A Way with Words - this PBS podcast has been on hiatus since cohost Richard Lederer retired in October. They are currently rebroadcasting old episodes, but new episodes should be starting up again in 2007 with the other cohost, Martha Barnette. This is a call-in show about words and language.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Science Fiction Meme

Inspired by an entry in Baby Boomer Librarian, who got it from Librarian in Black, who got it from Walt Crawford's blog.

Below is a Science Fiction Book Club list most significant SF novels between 1953-2006. The meme part of this works like so: Bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put a star next to the ones you love."

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien *

2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov

3. Dune, Frank Herbert

4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

6. Neuromancer, William Gibson

7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick

9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley

10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury*

11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe

12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.*

13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov

14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras

15. Cities in Flight, James Blish

16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett*

17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison

18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison

19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester

20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany

21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey*

22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card

23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson

24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman*

25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl

26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling*

27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*

28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson

29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin

31. Little, Big, John Crowley

32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny

33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick*

34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement

35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon

36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith

37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute

38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke

39. Ringworld, Larry Niven

40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys

41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut

43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner

45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester

46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein

47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock

48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks

49. Timescape, Gregory Benford

50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Charleston Conference: Sessions I wish I could have attended

There were a number of sessions I wish I could have attended at Charleston, but was unable to due to scheduling conflict or the room being too full. I'll be checking the conference site for the presentations.

  • Surprising Subscriptions: How Electronic Journal Publishing Has Affected the Partnership Among Subscription Agents, Publishers and Librarians

  • Canceling Print Journals for Electronic-Only: Developing Guidelines for Decision Making

  • IRs by the Numbers: Rumors and Realities of Institutional Repositories

  • Promoting Primary Source Research: A Partnership

  • Views on Usage Statistics and Value

  • E-journal Big Deal Price Caps: Do They Really Benefit Libraries?

  • E-Book Evolution: How Far Have We Come and Where Are We Now?

  • Managing unwanted Gift Book Donations

  • eBooks and Libraries - Near and Future eBook Trends

  • Trends in Scientific Publishing: The Editorial Perspective

  • Datasets: a New Paradigm for Library Collections?

  • Collection Analysis: From Data Harvesting to Decision Making

  • Dancing in Tandem with E-resources Life-Cycle

  • Weed with Ease: Tracking your collection review project

  • So, What Happens Next? An update on Illinois' statewide science serial collection assessment

  • Subject Encyclopedias: A Subjective Scrutiny

  • Economics of information as an Instructional Strategy

  • SUSHI - Standardizing Usage Data Can Make Your Life Easier

  • Subject Fingerprinting: New Insights into the Journals Ecosystem

  • Options for Citation Tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science

  • How Digital Library Services Contribute to Undergraduate Learning

  • Collection Analysis Activities at Southeastern Research Libraries - Initial Findings & Results

  • Library Strategic Planning for the Transition Away from Print Journals

Up to 29

With my recent trip to South Carolina, I've visiting 29 US states (not counting a few I was in before I was a year old).

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

My countries visited map is a lot more boring:

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Charleston Conference - Saturday morning

The day started with what they call the "Beastly Breakfast". At our table, we talked cooperative collection development.

After breakfast, Anthony Ferguson from the University of Hong Kong talked about the 10 ideas he will be taking from this conference. I'll have to mull on my own and post my list after I've thought about it a bit more.

Stephen Rhind-Tuft from Alexander Street Press spoke on Web 2.0 - What's in it for you, or as he changed his presentation title, "How I learned to stop worrying and love Web 2.0." One key point I took away from this session was the idea that users want to interact with information at all levels - the word, the phrase, the page, the chapter, the book, and the series.

David Warlock from Electronic Publishing Services, Ltd., spoke about STM in 2020, where he foresees scientific research being built on a foundation with a network of productivity and compliance, using electronic lab notebooks with links to everything they use in the research process.

Jane Burke from Serials Solution then spoke on Managing the Virtual Library and our need to align our priorities with reality, align out behaviors with reality, stop doing stuff that isn't appreciated, and hurry up.

The next session I attended was an update on last year's Janus Conference at Cornell and the 6 key challenges for collection development.

The last session was titled the "Chuck and Tony Show" with Chuck Hamacker and Anthony Ferguson. The focus on this session was on four issues:

  • We just don't get respect

  • Why we have lost it

  • What we still have to offer

  • What can we do to change the situation
  • (audience suggestions on what they are doing at their institutions)

Overall, a very good conference and several things that I will be thinking about and commenting on further after I've had a chance to think about them more.